When it comes to keeping warm, oil-filled radiators are the most popular domestic choice due to their cost-effectiveness and safety. The heaters themselves are pretty easy to maintain and do not require a lot of attention during their lifetime.
But how long do oil-filled radiators actually last before you have to replace them? And what are the telltale signs that it is time?
What Is The Life Expectancy Of An Oil Filled Heater?
Even though there are an array of factors that could shorten your oil-filled heater's lifespan, they typically last anywhere between 16-20 years. This means that most people will not have to pay to replace their oil heater during their stay in a flat or house.
Do not worry about having to pay out an obscene amount if you are the unlucky tenant having to replace your chosen heater. They are not overly expensive to begin with, but even after the initial payout, you will be saving money in the long run due to how effective they are at heating your home and how effective they are at saving energy.
What Affects The Lifespan?
While there is a substantial typical life span, your oil-filled radiator may stop working and need replacing quicker due to a variety of reasons. Sometimes, these reasons can not be avoided and are simply due to the make of the radiator, but there are several factors you can be aware of and avoid so that you can make the most out of your heater.
The way oil-filled radiators work is by an electric coil heating the oil within the radiator. If this coil is compromised, your heater will not be able to warm up. The more that you use your heater, the shorter its lifespan will be because the electric coil will wear out quicker and the oil will become oxidized, deeming your heater useless.
Typically, by keeping the coil's temperature between 750 and 1000 Fahrenheit, your heater should last the full 16-20 years expected lifespan. However, in order to be kept between these temperatures, you need to give your heater time to cool down, otherwise the electric coil will be overworked.
For this reason, it is important that you do not leave your heater on for more than a few hours at a time. Due to the power of your heater, even when it is turned off and cooling down, there would have been enough heat generated to keep you warm while you give the electric coil a break.
Most people use an oil-filled radiator as their bedroom or living room's heating element due to their effectiveness when heating up a larger space. It is also for this reason that many domestic family environments will have one of these heaters. However, a busy household or children running around increases the risk of your heater being bashed about and damaged.
Manufacturers know who their customers are aware of the hectic lifestyle many have, and for this reason make their oil-filled heaters purposefully robust, but there are obviously still going to be accidents.
There is no need to worry if your heater gets knocked over a few times or has a few things fall on top of it, just so long as the electric coil within the heater itself does not get damaged. If it does, chances are that it can not be fixed and you may have to replace your heater prematurely.
You should also make sure that no damage has been done to the pipes within the heater that holds the oil. A common misconception is that oil-filled heaters need their oil replaced. The companies manufacturing the heaters purposely only fill the heater to a certain level because the oil only acts as a thermal store rather than as fuel like most would expect.
For this reason, it is important to make sure that no oil leaks from your heater. If it becomes damaged and you notice oil leakage, that would be a cause for replacement. However, this should be the only oil related problem that you come across when owning an oil-filled radiator, as they are specifically designed so that the user does not need to worry about oil issues.
If you do feel a need to fill up or replace the oil within your heater, make sure to call the manufacturing company and not attempt to do it yourself as each individual brand will use a different oil at various levels to make their heaters work. If you attempt to refill the oil yourself then the chances are that you will do more damage than good.
All in all, oil-filled radiators have an average use-life of 16-20 years. This is taking into consideration that no damage occurs to the heater itself and that you allow time for the electric coil to cool down every few hours so that your heater does not burn out.
As long as you take care of your heater, then you can be sure to enjoy cosy winters with no worries about your heating system.